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LiverKick.com Rankings


Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni

 

70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

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Gokhan Saki at United GloryTwo big kickboxing shows this weekend to report on:

United Glory hosted the semi-final rounds of their World Series of Kickboxing and MMA tournaments this weekend.  On the kickboxing side of things, in the first semi-final, JLB teammate Brice Guidon defeated Mourad Bouzidi via KO in the 2nd round.  I have not yet found any footage from this fight, but it's an impressive win as Bouzidi is both a solid fighter and very tough to stop.  In semi-final #2, tournament favorite Gokhan Saki (pictured) took a unanimous decision win over Wendell Roche.  Another powerful, leg kick heavy performance from Saki in this one, although Roche put up a game fight, particularly in the 3rd round.  With those wins, the final is set: Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon.  That is scheduled from some time in May, though could very easily be delayed.  Saki will remain the favorite, but Guidon is a tough fighter, with a 2010 win over top 10 Hesdy Gerges.  He'll definitely make this a good final, and has it in him to pull off the upset.

Only partial results are available for the rest of the card, as United Glory is known to shuffle their line-ups considerably at the very last minute.  In more kickboxing action, Nieky Holzken, Errol Zimmerman, and Robin van Roosmalen were all victorious against unknown opponents.  Not much is known here, except that Zimmerman apparently broke the arm of his opponent - we'll have more details on that incident plus all these fights as soon as we can.  Finally, in the MMA tournament, both UFC veterans lost, as Siyar Bahadurzada defeated John Alessio, and Tommy Depret defeated Roan Carneiro.  Siyar and Depret will meet in the MMA finals on that same May show.

The other big event was over in Romania, where SuperKombat and WAKO-Pro presented an event billed as Romania vs. Italy.  In a rematch from the 2010 K-1 Europe GP finals, Freddy Kemayo once again defeated Sebastian Ciobanu, this time via extra round decision.  Romanian site Kombat.ro is saying there was some controversy surrounding that decision, though take that with a grain of salt as they tend to really favor their local fighters.  Dzevad Poturak also took a decision win over Ionut Ifitmoaie, while Catalin Morosanu defeated Yuksel Ayadin, again via decision.  On the undercard, the hyped Stoica brothers were both triumphant, as Andrei Stoica defeated Alex Rossi, and Bogdan Stoica took out Levio Ramoni, both via decision.  Full results here.

Next weekend, the show to watch is It's Showtime Brussels with their 61kg title on the line.  There was a NJKF show also scheduled that was to feature Tetsuya Yamato, but that show has been postponed to May 21 in light of the disaster in Japan.

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We just saw a hype train not get derailed, but fly off of the rails on its own accord and into the realm of hyperbole. Not in a very long time have I seen a fighter get as hyped up so quickly as Jon Jones has in his very brief Mixed Martial Arts career. Jones has all of the potential in the world, has a large, lanky frame and a wrestling pedigree on top of a sense of creativity that most Mixed Martial Artists are afraid to express.

There is a very good chance that tonight Dana White and the Fertitas were finally able to create a new, homegrown star and one that will have wider appeal than a middle aged white man with a beer gut and a mohawk could have. Jon Jones handled Shogun like he was a small child, and while all of his weaknesses were still there, his strengths were enough to make Shogun look like an average fighter to say the least. Jones had a hard time keeping position on the ground due to poor posturing while going for big elbow strikes, on his feet his footwork as as sloppy as ever and the big shots were never set up or followed up on.

That won't matter to most because he won the fight in dominant fashion and landed a few big, cool moves on his feet that will fill a highlight reel up for future fights quite nicely. A lot of those cool moves he throws he actually did't pick up from Jackson or Winklejohn, but former K-1 fighter Mark Miller (whom I urge you to Google, guy has the best story in combat sports) who he used to train with. So the flash of Jon Jones came from one of the few kickboxers in the United States that were able to prove themselves on an international level in the past ten years and added to the wrestling base that Greg Jackson has been able to have a field day with.

Jones moves on to face team mate Rashad Evans and a slew of articles hailing him as the greatest champion prospect to ever live, but he'll need to keep his head on the ground and pick up some of those fundamentals if he wants to stay on top, because eventually someone will be able to exploit them.

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Mirko Cro Cop didn't come out to Duran Duran, instead he came out to Ennio Morricone's classic L'estasi Dell'Oro [The Ecstasy of Gold] from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. To many this shows signs of change and for a night of PRIDE NEVER DIE, an ominous sign.

Brendan Schaub is a large, scary dude who looks to have a bright future ahead of him. He clinched Cro Cop against the cage and was broken by Herb Dean for a possible rabbit punch. This just led to a takedown by Schaub. Cro Cop was actually able to sweep him and get back to his feet, but more clinch work from Schaub just exposes what we already know; Cro Cop hates getting clinched.

The second round sees a lot of the same, Cro Cop seems to be afraid of throwing meaningful strikes and his inability to clinch has haunted his UFC career. He throws a left high kick that Schaub was able to avoid and use to take Cro Cop down. The remainder of the round was Goldberg discussing Jon Jones and lots of clinching. Cro Cop actually uses a few close elbows to get some blood out of Schaub before Schaub once again rabbit punches Mirko and loses a point. That might actually even up the fight or put Cro Cop in the lead as he landed the best shots in that round.

The third round starts off with a left inside leg kick from Cro Cop that like a heat seeking missle connects with Schaub's cup. Left leg ball breaker, right leg vasectomy. Schaub after he recovers takes Cro Cop down, Cro Cop pushes him off and gets immediately taken down again with a diving tackle. For some odd reason Shaub lets him get back up and Cro Cop is able to stuff a takedown. It looked good for Cro Cop and then Brendan Schaub lands a crazy right hook behind the ear of Cro Cop sending him flying, head bouncing off the mat.

We love Cro Cop, but it is that time.

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As I looked to begin my Muay Thai training, I realized I was somewhat underprepared from a gym attire standpoint. As someone who hasn’t worked out in a few years, I knew I needed a few things before I started. So, prior to class #1 I hit the store and bought... shoes. Why did I do this? I have no idea. I’ve watched plenty of Muay Thai. I understand the rules of Muay Thai. And shoes? Not exactly Muay Thai gear. And yet there I was, shiny new workout shoes in hand. It took about 5 seconds of being in the gym to realize what a stupid purchase that had been.

But my purchasing journey had just begun. At class #2, we got a quick talking down about coming to class unprepared – it’s a Muay Thai class, you need Muay Thai gear. Which is correct. My only problem? I’m not rolling in money, so needed to find things that were inexpensive, but still effective. I made a list: Gloves, Shin pads, Mouth guard, Hand wraps, Head gear, Cup, Muay Thai trunks, Ankle braces.

After some deliberation, I decided to put head gear, trunks, and ankle braces on the back burner and focus on the rest. Now, the trouble is, there are an unbelievable amount of options out there in cyberspace for these things. Where do you turn? How cheap can you go before you are getting something worthless? And is that $99 pair really so much better than the $59 pair? Here’s what I ended up with:

Gloves Shin Guards Hand WrapsGLOVES – I started searching for these at the local used sporting goods store, which quickly revealed itself to be a mistake. Partly because the nice, enthusiastic salesman had no clue what he was talking about and told me emphatically I did NOT want a boxing glove for Muay Thai, but instead some sort of large, fingered glove? I still don’t get what he was talking about – those weird Bruce Lee gloves no one ever uses? But the bigger problem is that you can’t buy boxing gloves used, because once they’ve gone to the used store, the padding is shot, and your knuckles will be too if you use them. Of course. So, off to the Sport Authority to try on their stock. Lots of options here, most of them uncomfortable, and many of them felt downright unsafe. None more so than the Muhammed Ali signature line – maybe it was just the way it fit my own hand, but I felt like using those would result in both broken knuckles and a broken wrist. The Greatest deserves better. I tried on everything they had, threw some punches at the nearby heavy bag, and in the end I settled on a pair of Everlast 16 oz. MMA Sparring Gloves (pictured). They fit well, they’re comfortable – I’m happy. Cost: $40.

SHIN PADS – This was the toughest one, as I found no stores with any in stock that I could try out (Although Mr. Eager Used Goods Clerk suggested soccer shin guards. No thanks.), which meant I would have to order online and hope for the best. I scouted and scouted, comparing tons of stores, prices, reading reviews – it’s exhausting, particularly when shopping for a product you’ve never once used before. I ended up ordering from MMAStop.com, partly because they are local, based just outside of Chicago, and I like supporting local if I can. Turned out to be a bit of a process as the first pair I ordered were out of stock, and the replacement was out of stock too. I exchanged a number of e-mails with the folks there, who were extremely nice and accommodating. They ended up recommending a slightly more expensive pair, but giving it to me at the original price since it had been a hassle. Very nice customer service, and a thumbs up to MMAStop.com from me. I ended up with a pair from RevGear (pictured). Have not yet used them, but they feel very sturdy and well constructed, and they fit me nicely. Cost (with shipping): $32

MOUTH GUARD – Just a basic $10 molded version. Covers just the top teeth, but it will do for now. I hope.

HAND WRAPS – Picked these up on the glove trip. Various options here, but I went with the Everlast 180 (pictured). Biggest difficulty so far is trying to get them on correctly – still not sure I’m getting the absolute best protection from them, particularly around the thumb, which is very hard to wrap. Cost: $10.

CUP – There are a ton of very expensive options for supporters and cups, but frankly, I don’t see the need to spend so much when you can get a perfectly fine, basic version at Target for $10. That’s what I got - it fits fine, supports fine, no complaints.

So there we go. Total cost for gloves, shin guards, mouth piece, cup, hand wraps: $102. Head gear, better shorts, and ankle sleeves are yet to come. Did I make good purchases? Well, the only way to find out is to get in there and start using them. We’ll give that a go next week and report back on the findings.

This is an area where I really want to hear from you. What gear do you use? What works for you and what have you had a bad experience with? It would be great if those starting off could have some good info on this rather confusing area from those of you who have been at it.

Training Diary is a weekly series documenting my journey starting Muay Thai training. For more on this series, read the first entry here.  I train at Conviction Fitness & Martial Arts, 4430 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL www.convictionfitness.com.

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ShogunTo say I'm a pretty bright guy is probably an understatement, and to publicly say that is probably a good way to make people either roll their eyes or continue an onslaught of e*attacks against my person, yet here I am, writing exactly that. I think having some confidence in a world of uncertainty is a great feature to possess. Like a good portion of hardcore fans on the internet, I've been watching MMA for a very long time, and like an even smaller portion, I watched PRIDE during its heyday.

I don't make a lot of PRIDE NEVER DIE posts, but yes, the bushido spirit flows through my veins at times and I remember that really awesome Japanese promotion that was home to a lot of the world's top talent as well as a lot of the world's most charismatic cans and both sometimes converged to create incredible squashes like only PRIDE could do. That is to keep the haters happy, as there were also a lot of really, really incredible fights between the best in the world.

So I have to be honest, I'm scratching my head over here; how is Mauricio "Shogun" Rua an underdog against Jon "Bones" Jones at this weekend's UFC 128 event? I pose a very, very serious question to those that feel like Jones is unstoppable; who has he beaten compared to Shogun? Shogun was the PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Champion, quite possibly having the most incredible tournament run imaginable for that year. Shogun defeated, in the opening round, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, then Antonio Rogerio "Little Nog" Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and then Ricardo Arona.

To me, this fight is a no-brainer. An absolute no-brainer, to the extent that I've been given $1,000 by BetDSI to bet on this fight, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I'm all in for Mauricio Shogun Rua. The odds on BetDSI right now? Ridiculous. Shogun is +155 and I'm betting that I'll be laughing all the way to the bank on this one. So that is, risking $1,000 to win $1,550. Want to know why? Read more.

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2 Apidej Sit Hrun: How many fighters can say they shattered both of his opponents arms in the SAME fight and forced him to retire? I can think of 1, and that would be Apidej Sit Hrun. He's broke many of arms and is probably the hardest kicker in the history of all combat sports. However he wasn't purely a kicker, he was also a successful international boxer, and held titles in that sport. He was named fighter of the century by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who is still the current King so he's seen his share of fighters. 

Highlight:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErGQK7LtJ90

1 Samart Payakaroon: Not only is this man the best Muay Thai fighter of all time (IMO) but he's the best striker of all time period. If it wasn't for Dieselnoi Chor Thunasukarn he would have won fighter of the year in 1981, 1982, and 1983. But since he lost to Dieselnoi he only won the awards in 81, and 83. After establishing himself as a legend in Muay Thai he took his talent too international boxing and in a few years became the WBC Super Bantamweight champion of the world. After a title defense he lost the belt, and decided to come back to Muay Thai. So he's leaves Muay Thai as the best, goes to boxing and becomes the best(at Super Bantamweight) in that sport for a short while, and then comes back to Muay Thai, a sport he hasn't competed in for years and is still the best! Thats just crazy to me. Not only does he come back and win fighter of the year again in 1988, but he's even better than he was in the early 80's. No fighter ever had his skills near the end of his career. The movement, the technical precision, the stamina was just unparalleled. He's the only fighter to have won fighter of the year 3 times, and had he not gone to boxing he would probably be looking at 5 or more. 

Samart vs. Hapalang:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoxaeGVv3os

Highlight:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VLD7hEzZEs

 

10. Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn

9. Sangtienoi Sor Rungrot

8. Boonlai Sor Thanikul

7. Poot Lorlek

6. Sakmongkol Sithchuchok

5. Kaensak Sor Ploenchit

4. Dieselnoi Chor Thunasukarn

3. Saenchai Sinbimuaythai

2. Apidej Sit Hrun

1. Samart Payakaroon

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